American Roots Music Concert Series

Clarence The Bluesman

2017 BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND!
Come celebrate American roots music - Americana and folk, country, blues, and even zydeco -- with the return of our popular summer concert series! Join us for one or all of these free concerts. Provided seating is limited and available on a first come, first served basis or bring your own blanket or chair.

Explore the 2017 American Roots Music concert lineup below. In December, visit for our holiday concert series.

2017 concerts in this series:

July 13 - Forlorn Strangers, Americana/country


Come enjoy the Garden as you listen to the sounds of American roots music! Forlorn Strangers is a Nashville, TN-based Americana quintet, with members hailing from the great states of Florida, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Minnesota. The band is comprised of five songwriters, each having their own distinct sounds and styles that blend into one cohesive voice. Their music is rooted in family harmonies and flavored with guitars, banjo, mandolin, fiddle, dobro, and foot-stomping percussion. Please note: Limited seating available on a first come, first served basis.

5:00 - 7:00 pm | National Garden Amphitheater (Rain Location: Conservatory Garden Court)

July 27 - Cathy Ponton King, roots rock


Come enjoy the Garden as you listen to the sounds of American roots music! Born in Washington, D.C., Cathy Ponton King has a blues sound all her own. With a velvety voice and Telecaster guitar in her hands, she has performed with and opened for legendary blues artists such as Koko Taylor, Albert Collins, Earl King, Bo Diddley, Willie Dixon, Son Seals, Paul Butterfield, Roomful of Blues (with Ronnie Earl on guitar), Marcia Ball, Sonny Landreth, the late Clarence Gatemouth Brown, and Buddy Guy. Come join one of the Mid-Atlantic's best known female guitarists for an evening of roots rock. Please note: Limited seating available on a first come, first served basis.

5:00 - 7:00 pm | National Garden Amphitheater (Rain Location: Conservatory Garden Court)

August 10 - Gaye & Wild Rutz (blues and roots)


Gaye Adegbalola & The Wild Rutz (pronounced ROOTS) is an a cappella blues quartet complemented by percussion and occasional guitar. Gaye, founding member of Saffire -The Uppity Blues Women (1984 - 2009) continues her signature "Saffire sassiness" in roots music tradition. She has toured nationally and internationally, and has won numerous awards including the prestigious Blues Music Award (formerly the W.C. Handy Award - the Grammy of the blues industry). As of 2015, Adegbalola has 16 CDs in national distribution, including 5 on her own label, Hot Toddy Music.

5:00 - 7:00 pm | National Garden Amphitheater (Rain Location: Conservatory Garden Court)

August 24 - Dede Wyland (bluegrass)


A native of Wisconsin, singer and guitarist Dede honed her bluegrass skills from 1975 through 1979 in the Mid-West before moving to the East Coast in the early 80's. During those years her clear, powerful voice made her a perennial nominee in the annual awards poll of the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music in America (SPBGMA). As one of the few women at the time who was performing in a high-profile touring bluegrass band, Dede was a role model and an artistic influence for a generation of female bluegrass musicians who would shape the music in the years to come. Since 1999, Dede's singing has won her a shelf full of "Wammie" awards from the Washington Area Music Association.

5:00 - 7:00 pm | National Garden Amphitheater (Rain Location: Conservatory Garden Court)

September 14 - David Bach (jazz)


2016 Maryland Music Award for Best Jazz Artist. The Baltimore/Washington DC based keyboardist/composer, David, is the recipient of two Gold records and winner of the 2004 Maryland State Art Council Performance Award. The David Bach Consort is a spirited eclectic group of artists that excites crowds with their unique musical entertainment. His band, The David Bach Consort, was the winner of the Jazz Discovery Showcase on Black Entertainment Television. His band was voted "Best Instrumental Band" by Music Monthly Magazine. The David Bach Consort has been featured on national and international television on BET's Jazz Central.

3:00 - 5:00 pm | Conservatory Garden Court

September 28 - Jason Ricci (blues)


Jason Ricci has the full essence of that rare perceptive penetrating talent that has captured the Blues World and made it his own. Ricci was named "Best Harmonica Player" at the 2010 Blues Music Awards, and also performed on Grammy winning 2014 Johnny Winter album Step Back. Onstage and in the studio, he is upfront with a big dose of modern style. He's a suave, charismatic Showman that brings catchy original song-craftings that are seldom equaled. This sophisticated Blues Renaissance man is a surefire bet to be the administrator of a remarkable performance lubricated with a jumbo helping of southern fried boogie.

3:00 - 5:00 pm | Conservatory Garden Court

Past concerts in this series:

June 8 - Seth Kibel Group, jazz


Come enjoy the Garden as you listen to the sounds of American roots music! Working with some of the best bands in jazz, swing, and world music, and wowing audiences on saxophone, clarinet, and flute, Seth Kibel has made a name for himself in the Washington/Baltimore region and beyond. Come join Seth, one of the Mid-Atlantic's premier woodwind specialists, for an evening of classic American ragtime and Dixieland jazz. Please note: Limited seating available on a first come, first served basis.

5:00 - 7:00 pm | National Garden Amphitheater (Rain Location: Conservatory Garden Court)

June 22 - Parker & Gray, blues and roots


Come enjoy the Garden as you listen to the sounds of American roots music! A music duo out to preserve acoustic blues, folk, and soul, while breaking ground on new flavors as well. Winners of the Central Virginia Blues Society's International Blues Competition Challenge in 2016. Acoustic duo includes vocals/harmonica and vocals/guitar. Please note: Limited seating available on a first come, first served basis.

5:00 - 7:00 pm | National Garden Amphitheater (Rain Location: Conservatory Garden Court)